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Route 66 US cf. Route 355 ZA

April 19, 2018

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Tankwa Tales - Part 2

February 2, 2018

 

Endless roads in the Tankwa

 

 

 

It was about 11am when we left for one of our offroad motorcycle tours. We carefully planned for this trip to also coincide with the new moon exactly as it would be for our visitors.  Little did we know at the beginning of this route that the last minute Google mapping changes we made (only to include a spectacular mountain pass) was going to be the longest hardest day of all.  What added to our wows, was the fact that our city sleeking bodies miraculously and very suddenly suffered of Alzheimer's.  Our muscles had forgotten what it takes to ride on the dirt. All the challenges that come with city riding does not prepare your mind or your body for an unplanned extended journey like this.

 

 

 

We rode past Inverdoorn Game reserve http://www.inverdoorn.com/ and before long we reached the beautiful Amandelnek "kloof "  Riding through the mountains with cliffs and overhangs and ravines. As we left the Kloof behind we were faced with a challenge.  A massive dust storm sweeping across the dirt road, leaving everything full of sand.  Our red beast quickly turned into a desert camouflaged sandy brown color and I am almost certain seeing a tiny pile of sand next to where my "client" placed his helmet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view halfway up Ouberg Pass is breathtakingly spectacular!

 

It was a near overcast day and the temperature a moderate 36 degrees Celsius by the time we reached Ouberg mountain pass.  I am yet to research the name or details of this pass but my guess and logic would be to translate it directly:  "Old mountain, mountain pass".  Maybe because this pass was old, as if not being touched by modern day equipment for at least a good few years or if ever..  Nevertheless, this was the main reason for our change in plans and we did not regret a single moment.  As I was told by a fellow rider:  "this is probably the most spectacular mountain pass for an off roader in the whole of South Africa"   Besides for the slight issue with my nerves being shattered completely it stands true to exactly just that.  SPECTACULAR.   It only has sufficient room for one vehicle, has sheer drop offs, a mix of sharp and longer corners, gravel, sand and some rocky parts, climbs for +/- a thousand meters up in only +/- 6km.  This is a mountain pass that motorcycle dreams are made of. From here we headed towards Sutherland for our first overnight stay and reached our destination not a minute too soon.  We were at the end of our lines.  Tired, thirsty, dirty and our brains stuffed to the brink with amazing memories of an awesome first day route.  Our hosts recommended a meal which seems to be the favorite of all their patrons and we were presented with the tradition that is uniquely Karoo.  Karoo lamb chops cooked to perfection served with an over sized portion of fries and an extremely generous helping of mixed vegetables.  A meal fit for an adventure rider tired to the bones. 

 

Day two, and it was my turn to show this desert what I am made of. All geared up and

 ready to go, I headed out of Sutherland on R354.  My excitement must have gotten the better of me, because within 20 minutes I found myself waiting at the side of the road for my back up vehicle to catch up, all the while forgetting that he had to make some additional stops.  This is reason number two for why I love this part of our beautiful planet so much.  I must have been waiting for about 30 minutes and had about 10-20 local farmers driving past me, waving friendly, and not once did I feel